Holden’s first year

March 24 2014 marked the scariest day of my life to date. I didn’t know if your dad and I would get to meet you. When I woke up, the first thing I heard was your cry and I was overjoyed. Here we are a year later, and you have grown from that tiny crying infant to a large one. Of course you don’t cry all the time, but you are a very vocal little man. You like to squeal and screech and babble. Your dad and I call you a pterodactyl. You say “mama” at bedtime and “dada” when you wake up. You started waving and saying “hi” and “bye” two weeks ago. You dance and clap when Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” comes on. And Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” – kids go crazy for that song, it seems.

You are a physically active little guy. You don’t like to be confined – you are a roamer. You have been scooting around the kitchen in your walker for months now, and you walk when holding onto people’s hands. You started pulling yourself up on furniture in January. You will pull yourself up on just about anything – a door, the bathtub, my leg. You fall a lot, but have learned to do it without hurting yourself (mostly). You are adventurous, wild and fearless. You try to climb the stairs alone, but I come behind you to save you from yourself, which seems to bother you. You have been trying to be independent as long as I can remember.

You love to swing and you laugh loudly when I blow bubbles. You have the most infectious laugh. It is sinister and cacklish in the cutest way. You cut your teeth early and seem to be getting your molars in now. You try to gag yourself in your high chair, and I’m hoping that’s just because your gums are bothering you, not because you’re bulimic. You like to play at the train table – you throw things off the side. You are a destroyer. It works out well because Brandon is a builder and he will build towers of blocks for you to knock down and then you will both laugh.

People comment on your beautiful large brown eyes. Your eyelashes are growing long. You have the sweetest little dimple. Your hair is still fine and a sandy brown. You were chubby for a long time, people called you a linebacker up until a couple months ago, but you have started to thin out. Now you are tall, but not rolly. You have a voracious appetite and already eat as much as Brandon at mealtimes. You refuse to wear accessories and even pull off your socks.

You seem like an athlete already. Earlier this week you started dunking toys into the basketball net in the bathtub on a loop. Your favorite book has two nursery rhymes in it and you look at me intently, waiting for each word. If I try to read you something else, you bat it down and hang over the chair looking at the books, waiting for me to pick up the right one. You love to shake your head “no.” You like “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” but aren’t nearly as into TV as your brother was/is.

You are my big little guy. It seems like you haven’t been a baby for so much of your babyhood because you were always moving, always trying to be bigger than you are. You were never much of a cuddler, but I’ve learned you show your affection by making me laugh. Sometimes I look at you and can already see you as an adolescent and I realize it is going to go fast – you will shoot up quickly and one day I will read this to remind myself of who you were when you were smaller. You are my fiery, wild independent little baby; even if you’re not a baby in any way but your age.

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